Saturday, May 20, 2006

The "official" language

The full Senate will convene next week to debate a bill to make English the official language of the U.S.A, and both sides are up in arms. This current debate is whether to make English the "official" language, or the lesser-known "common and unifying" language. Come on guys, give me a break.

If you want to call English "official" or "common", that is negligible. We will still be speaking English in a majority of America, whatever the Senate decides. I am 38 years old, and I speak only English fluently. Being pre-school, school-age, college-age, or after school, the only language spoken in this country is English.

The "second" language I speak is French, but it is broken at best (je m'appelle Thomas Bell, mais je ne parle pas tres bien francais), The reason is I don't get to practice the language at all. Jacob Hornberger was born and lived into his adult life in Lardeo, TX. Lardeo is a border town, north of the Rio Grande, so he gets to practice both Spanish and English regularly, and he speaks both fluently. But, anywhere except the border with Mexico, the only language that is spoken is English.

In fact, for America's 231 years, the only language that the people spoke was English. The Declaration of Independence was wrote in English. So is the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We spoke English in the past, we speak English today, and we will still be speaking English in the foreseeable future.

Besides, in a free society, the government's only role is to secure individual's rights; that's it. Government wants to pass a bill to make a language "official" or "common" has nothing to do with protecting the individual's right. In fact, it restricts the people's rights. Making English the "official language" or the "common and unifying language" is symbolic at best, and it destroys our cherished freedom.

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